BlackBerry Appoints Ex-Sybase Executive As COO

by CXOtoday News Desk    Jul 22, 2014

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BlackBerry Limited named Marty Beard as its chief operating officer (COO), following a management reshuffle. A former executive of Sybase that was earlier run by current BlackBerry CEO John Chen, Beard was most recently chief executive officer of LiveOps Inc, a provider of cloud applications for customer service.

In his new role, Beard would be responsible for marketing, application development, quality and customer care, among other things. Former BlackBerry COO Kristian Tear left the company late last year, shortly after Chen took the reins. Thereafter the position had remained vacant.

Beard had been CEO of LiveOps since 2011. Before that he was with Sybase, which was acquired by SAP in 2010. Beard served under BlackBerry CEO John Chen who served as CEO of Sybase from 1998 to 2012. Prior to Sybase, Beard was Vice President of Oracle Online for three years.

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Analysts believe Beard now has a challenging task before him to be able to turn around the perception of BlackBerry, which once dominated the enterprise smartphone market but has seen its market share steadily decline in the past few years. During the first quarter of 2014 too, BlackBerry suffered a quarterly loss of $423 million.

Like Apple, BlackBerry too formed a partnership recently that gave IBM the ability to directly manage devices running the BlackBerry 10 operating system, a device Beard will also look to improve.

According to a Tech Crunch report, BlackBerry is trying to demonstrate it is still continuing to push ahead in its strategy despite the competitive pressure. Under Chen, BlackBerry’s focus has sharpened specifically on the enterprise market, the segment that helped it build its brand in the first place. It says, appointing someone like Beard, who comes from an enterprise startup focused on cloud services and previous to that worked at Sybase and Oracle, is a sign to the market of putting people in place who have specific expertise on building and executing services while catering to the business users.